MELROSE, MA—Indian American Manisha Bewtra is launching her campaign for the mayor of Melrose, a town of about 27, 000 residents in the Greater Boston metropolitan area in Middlesex County.
“I am running for Mayor of Melrose! I am excited to apply my expertise as a city planner and Councilor-At-Large to strengthen what we love about Melrose, address our challenges, invest in our future, and lead Melrose into 2020 and beyond,” Ms. Bewtra told her followers in an email.
She said that as a city planner, manager, and local advocate, she has an in-depth knowledge of local government and the experience to bring a creative, professional approach to the city’s challenges.
“I have worked over fifteen years with cities and towns to shepherd change while preserving what makes them special. As a Melrose mom, I value living in an intergenerational community where long-time residents and newcomers alike come together as neighbors and form strong ties,” said Ms. Bewtra. “I am excited to offer the leadership, the commitment, and the passion the people of Melrose deserve. I look forward to speaking with you in the coming months to learn more about your hopes and concerns as well as to share my platform, vision, and plan for Melrose.”
Ms. Bewtra moved to Melrose in 2013 with her husband Ravi and son Viraj. They were attracted to Melrose’s convenient location. She is an experienced city planner who has worked with dozens of cities and towns across the Commonwealth as well as local governments outside Massachusetts, according to her official bio.
Recently, she was a Senior Program Manager at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, where she provided assistance to cities and towns to plan for and develop affordable housing. For nearly a decade, she was employed at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, where she worked as a consultant for the City of Melrose Office of Planning and Community Development.
She assisted the City with developing transit-oriented zoning changes around the three commuter rail stations, which were adopted in 2014. In 2015, she began work on Melrose Forward: A Community Vision and Master Plan. This work has given her insight into the city’s assets, competitive advantages, and challenges. She learned that Melrose is a small city that does a lot with a little. Over the coming years, people in Melrose will weigh options for investing in schools, services, local roads, infrastructure systems, and facilities. Manisha is ready to lead the charge.
As a City Councilor-At-Large, Ms. Bewtra is currently the Chair of the Finance Committee and the Vice Chair of the Legal and Legislative Committee. She serves as the council representative to the Water and Sewer Rate Committee and the Library Strategic Planning Committee. During her tenure, she’s applied her expertise in city planning to the variety of issues that have come before the City Council, including affordable housing, sewer and water infrastructure, dockless bike sharing, snow removal, recreational marijuana zoning, investing in the city’s school, library, and public safety buildings, climate change and energy efficiency, and the city budget.
When she was elected as City Councilor-At-Large in November 2017, she was the first person of color ever elected to serve the City of Melrose.
In September 2018 she brought forward a resolution asking her colleagues to endorse Yes on 3 to reaffirm local and state non-discrimination laws prohibiting discrimination in places of public accommodation on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. She served as the keynote at the city’s first-ever Diwali celebration in 2018.